6 chicken cutlets, pounded thin and seasoned lightly with salt and pepper
Toothpicks to secure the chicken
For the filling:
6 fresh basil leaves
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
For the tomato sauce:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes, pureed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
5 fresh basil leaves, finely sliced
Lay the seasoned chicken cutlets on a baking sheet. Place on basil leaf in the center of each cutlet.
Combine all of the filling ingredients together and taste the seasoning. Add salt & pepper if necessary.
Place a tablespoonful of the filling over each basil leaf. Roll up the chicken and seal with 2 or 3 toothpicks so that the filling does not ooze out.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the stuffed chicken and cook 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown all around.
Place the chicken in a dish.
Cook the chopped garlic for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Do not let it burn!!! Dark brown garlic is burned garlic! Burned garlic goes in the trash....
Add the pureed tomatoes and all of the sauce ingredients leaving the sliced basil leaves out. They will be added at the very end.
Bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer over very low heat for about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken to the sauce and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken halfway through cooking.
Taste the sauce and add more salt if necessary. If the sauce looks too thin, remove the cooked chicken cutlets and set in a serving dish. Cover the sauce in the pot and increase the heat to medium-high and cook for about 5 minutes until thickened. Then, pour the sauce over the chicken.
Remove from heat and sprinkle the sliced basil leaves over the dish. Serve hot. Don't forget to remove the toothpicks!